Syphon is an arts and culture publication produced by Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre that is meant to act as a conduit between the arts community in Kingston and communities elsewhere. It was created in response to the lack of critical arts commentary and coverage in local publications, and seen as a way to increase exposure to experimental and non-commercial art practices. Syphon has a mandate to feature local arts coverage in conjunction with national and international projects, and an emphasis on arts scenes and activities that are seen as peripheral. It acts, in essence, as a record and communiqué for small regional arts communities throughout the country.
As we state in our masthead, "Syphon honours the etymology of the term 'hoser,' referring to those farmers who, on the Canadian prairies during the Great Depression of the '30s, would siphon gas from their neighbours' vehicles with a hose. We reclaim the somewhat derogatory expression and apply it to all those trying to make ends meet in the arts community."
Brad Isaacs, Photograph of Taxidermy Draped Over Electrical Conduit, 2016 (featured in Syphon 3.3)
Syphon 3.3, co-produced by Artspace and Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, reflects on contemporary Indigenous arts practices within and across Turtle Island. We are excited to have a greater emphasis on artist projects in this issue—perhaps unsurprisingly given that it was organized by two artist-run centres. With this format, the periodical serves as an exhibition space unto itself, featuring artist projects by Dylan Miner (Métis) and Angela Marie Schenstead (Nēhiyaw and mixed-European ancestry), as well as poetry by Armand Garnet Ruffo (Ojibway) and Layli Long Soldier (Oglala Lakota). While Angela Marie Schenstead’s drawing Tumbling Glacier (one, two, three) is contemplative—almost ethereal—Dylan Miner’s print No Pipelines on Indigenous Land is more direct, even indignant. Yet both express the value, significance and meaning of our relationship to the land, a concern that continues through much of the issue.
This issue also features Dylan Robinson in conversation with Miranda Ramnares, where they discuss public art, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Centre for Indigenous Research Creation at Queen's University (which Robinson recently founded), as well as Ellyn Walker on the work of Tanya Lukin Linklater, who considers the social and political dimension of spectatorship, especially in relation to that which avoids easy interpretation.
As always, Syphon is free and will be available at the gallery in early December (as well as at select arts organizations and artist-run centres across Canada).
Table of Contents
Cover - No Pipelines on Indigenous Land, by Dylan Robinson
3 - Intertwine, by Layli Long Soldier
4 - A Conversation with Dylan Robinson, by Miranda Ramnares (with images by Brad Isaacs)
Centrefold (6-7) - Tumbling Glacier (one, two, three), by Angela Marie Schenstead
8 - Poetic Recoveries: Not Knowing as Reflective Practice, by Ellyn Walker
10 - The Zen Garden in Kyoto, by Armand Garnet Ruffo
11 - Torque Wrench, by Armand Garnet Ruffo
Syphon 3.2 (Spring 2016) on “Art & Pedagogy" features contributions by artists and writers addressing collective and participatory forms of learning that are dynamic, communal and horizontal, with projects ranging from socially-engaged residencies to artist-initiated programs.
Nadja Pelkey discusses the workshops and knowledge exchange present within the Neighbourhood Spaces residency that she coordinated in Windsor, Ontario, while Jeanne Randolph and Cliff Eyland reflect on the Your Own Grad School program that they developed for Modern Fuel, where the State of Flux gallery is transformed into a shared studio, with art critiques, talks and a reading group. We are also in conversation with Luis Jacob to discuss Toronto's Anarchist Free School and his installation that documents the collective project, in turn inviting others to initiate such a project.
We are excited to have the issue include artist projects by Anna Hawkins and from Golboo Amani's The School of Bartered Knowledge.
As always, Syphon is free and available at the gallery, as well as at select arts organizations and artist-run centres across Canada.
* Now Online * Note that the underlined articles in the Table of Contents below are now available online.
Table of Contents
2 - Editorial
3 - 3 types of instructional videos, Anna Hawkins
4 - Your Own Grad School, Cliff Eyland
Centrefold (6-7) - The School of Bartered Knowledge, Golboo Amani
8 - The School of Bartered Knowledge, Golboo Amani & Francisco-Fernando Granados
10 - Information and Exchange: Educational Structures in Neighbourhood Spaces, Nadja Pelkey
11 - Silkscreen Power, Mary Tremonte
Golbo Amani, The School of Bartered Knowledge, 2013-ongoing
Released in Spring 2015, Issue 3.1 features Julie René de Cotret in conversation with Soft Turns, Richard Ibghy and Marilou Lemmens interviewed by Jane Kirby and David Parker, Kasia Knap discussing the animation of Janna-Marynn Brunnen, and Kim Neudorf reflecting on the work of Yam Lau.
"[In the work of Yam Lau] Retreat performs a withdrawal from the world, in order to create other kinds of value, autonomy and economy." Kim Neudorf, Two sightings: On the work of Yam Lau, Syphon 3.1 (Spring 2015)
Copies are distributed across Canada via the Artist-Run Centre Network; select back issues are also available.
Launched in December 2013, this issue of Syphon complements our recent Fall Thematic on Community Aesthetics. It features a report on the Artel; an interview with Su Sheedy on her Shoreline Shuffle project Dear Kingston; cheyanne turions' comments at the recent MANO/RAMO Media Arts Symposium Evolve or Perish in Ottawa, a project by the LIDS collective, and a centrefold by Christine Dewancker.
Read previous issues of Syphon online:
Advertise in Syphon
As a free arts periodical, Syphon is dependent upon community support. We have many advertising options to suite your budget and needs, and are always glad to discuss sponsorship opportunities. With a 1000 copy print run and distribution to our broad membership and visitor base, Syphon could be a great platform for your outreach.
Ad rates and specifications—as well as other information on distribution, readership and copy deadlines—can be found in our Media Kit below.